Let’s start in Rome today where on Divine Mercy Sunday, the Pope reiterated the importance of the experience of mercy, as the "concrete" form in which we give visibility to the resurrection of Jesus.
The pontiff noted that St. John Paul II established a special celebration of the Divine Mercy to remember the time when Jesus appeared to the disciples, giving them the power of reconciliation.
Drawing from the Gospel of the day, the Pope reminds us of Jesus’ words:
"Receive the Holy Spirit. Those, to whom you will forgive sins, will be forgiven."
Mercy, said the Pope, makes us realize that violence and revenge have no sense. Mercy opens the door of the heart and allows us to express our closeness, to those who are alone and marginalized.
Let us never forget mercy, the Pope concluded. It is the keystone in the life of faith and the concrete form in which we give visibility to the resurrection of Jesus.
After many months of speculation, the Pope has announced that the two young shepherd children from Fatima, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, will be canonized during his visit to Portugal in May.
During an ordinary consistory at the Vatican last week, the Pope announced the canonization of 35 people, most of them 16th and 17th century martyrs from Latin America.
However, the most well-known on the list are the Portuguese brother and sister Francisco and Jacinta, the shepherd children who, with their cousin Lucia Santos, saw the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Fatima exactly one hundred years ago.
Francisco and Jacinta died very young of the flu epidemic 1918, unlike Lucia, who became a nun and lived to the age of 98.
And, of course, we’ll bring you more information of our broadcast schedule for this event once it becomes available.
Now, here’s an interesting study. A recent Angus Reid survey found that most Canadians keep the faith in varying degrees, and only a few actually reject it entirely.
This study, published on their website, categorizes Canadians into four standard mindsets on religion, from total rejection of any spirituality on one end, to a strong embrace of organized religion on the other, then summarizes their beliefs.
Among some of the interesting conclusions was that close to 70% of Canadians believe that God or some higher-power exists.
The survey breaks down the range of beliefs to gender and age and also by province. It suggests that males aged 35-54 are 13% Religiously Committed vs females in the same category at 20%. Also, the province with the highest religiously committed is Saskatchewan at 32%.
Now, one statistic that caught my eye was this. When respondents were asked if they believe that Pope Francis is having a positive impact on the world, 72% of all people said yes, including 54% of those who are non-believers. You can read the entire study on the Angus Reid website listed below.
Now, here in Ontario, young people are planning to embark on a pilgrimage of a different kind. Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, First Nations Jesuits and some young Canadians will turn a traditional 850 km water trading route into a pilgrimage of encounter. Let’s have a look.
The Canadian Canoe Pilgrimage is a project inspired by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the hope of encouraging intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. For more details on the pilgrimage you can go to their website at canoepilgrimage.com
And that's all that we have time for today.
Join us again on tomorrow when we bring you more news and stories through the Perspectives of a catholic lens.
From all of us at the Salt and Light, thank you for joining us and we'll see you again tomorrow.